Winter is coming! I know, Fall just arrived, right? It is hard to believe that it is almost time to talk about snowy days and crisp air. Property Managers are always thinking ahead, so it is time to tackle some strategic planning before the snowflakes fall. We have created this ultimate guide to help you get ahead of the seasons and avoid any snowy situations.
Planning ahead for the winter months is one of the most important parts of maintaining a property, especially a rental. Tenants depend on their property managers and property owners to keep their homes safe and secure when inclement weather hits. Not only does being proactive keep future costs down, but it also protects you from a potentially costly liability. Here are some of the best tips to ensure that your property is in tip-top shape before the seasons change:
Have Your Furnace and Chimney Inspected & Cleaned
Tenants typically don’t think about the HVAC system in their home until it is time to turn them on. One of the largest dangers, when the seasons change, is a faulty HVAC system or a malfunctioning fireplace. This is a recipe for disaster as both can cause fire and release carbon monoxide into the home if they are not performing properly. While your inspection is being done, it is a good idea to ensure that the ductwork is clean and that the chimney is free from debris. This takes us to our next suggestion.
Inspect Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detectors
With cooler weather comes the use of the furnace and/or fireplace if your property has that feature. Tenants are asked to test their smoke & carbon monoxide detectors each quarter. One of the largest hazards in the cooler months is fire or carbon monoxide poisoning. The fireplace and the furnace have been lying dormant for many months and the tenant will likely assume they are functioning just fine and turn them on.
Clean your gutters
Fall is awesome and beautiful but also can leave a mess at your property. Another suggestion to prepping your property for winter is to ensure your gutters are free of leaves, branches, and other debris. If your gutters are full, it will weigh the gutters down. Also, ice may accumulate in the gutters from improper drainage. The extra weight from snow/ice/debris may cause the gutters to fall off your home while damaging the exterior in the process.
Inspect The Roof
The extra weight of snow and ice on a roof that is not in great shape can act like a ticking time bomb. This may cause leaks or even collapse of the roof into your rental. Having a certified roofing contractor giving your roof a good once-over will ease your mind and inform you of the remaining life of your roof.
Drain Sprinklers and Wrap Exterior Pipes
Draining sprinkler systems and wrapping exterior pipes and spigots will prevent leaks and frozen pipes. Standing water in pipes or irrigation systems will almost certainly freeze. This causes the pipes to crack and sometimes burst which in turn can cause water damage and a large mess to clean up!
This is a tip that sometimes gets overlooked. Snow and ice love to sit on tree branches. If there is a tree close to your property you do not want the tree to break and fall on the property or other exterior features.
Inspect Exterior for Trip and Fall Hazards
Inspecting and repairing any trip and fall hazards is one of the most important steps you can take in getting your home ready for winter. Cracked sidewalks, broken handrails, loose decking are all liabilities and require your immediate attention. This is true anytime, but especially when mother nature is in control in the winter.
Check Trim on Doors and Windows
Increased drafts inside a home will cause the HVAC system to work harder. This means added wear and tear on your furnace and your property which will result in additional costs sooner than later. Having an energy-efficient home not only protects your pockets from a costly HVAC replacement, but it also keeps your home in great shape by keeping the elements outside where they belong.
As you can see, there are many effective ways to protect your property. We care about our property owners and tenants just like our friends and family. We would love to have you as part of our RentWise Family! For more information on how we make things “Less Hassle, More Happy”- visit us here!